In 2018, the Kings Court Trust published a report on Will Writing which found that 55% of the adult population in Great Britain (GB) do not have a Will.
Nowadays, there is a lot of information on Will writing services, but you have to be cautious. For those people looking to make or Will or amend their Will may be considering utilising one of the many low-cost Will writing services which can be found online.
There can be serious dangers of using low cost Will writing services, some reasons are explained below:
- Will writing is not a regulated activity and therefore anybody can offer to write your Will for you.
- The protection that your potential beneficiaries will have if something goes wrong will vary hugely depending on who has written your Will.
- For example, Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’).
- All firms regulated by the SRA are required to have indemnity insurance (and run off cover if the firm closes down) so if something goes wrong and a mistake causes a loss to your potential beneficiaries then they can be compensated for their loss.
- With other Will writing services there may not be the same protections.
- Some online will writing services will offer to carry out the whole process online which means that often no face to face advice is provided. This can cause problems if a testator has not understood what particular clauses of a Will should be included.
- For example we have seen homemade Wills that do not deal with a person’s residuary estate meaning that effectively the deceased then dies partially intestate. This can be very problematic depending on the circumstances of the deceased.
- If you were considering using a Will writing service then it is worth checking whether they are a member of another recognised body such as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the Institute of Professional Will writers or the Society of Will Writers. They all follow a code of conduct and there are protections for those who use their services.
- It is worth investigating whether the provider you will use has the benefit of professional indemnity insurance in case something does go wrong.
- Some online services will appoint themselves as Executor in your Will to offset their low fee.
- The charges they will then levy on the estate after death can run into the thousands of pounds and in some cases, this can be up to 4% of the gross value of the deceased’s estate.
- One provider, states on their website that ‘all Wills drafted by them will include the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Standard Provisions’. To insert these provisions in to every single Will without proper consideration and consultation with the client can have unintended consequences that were not wanted.
- Furthermore, an experienced solicitor in this field assesses the testamentary capacity of the person making the Will at the time instructions are made.
- If Wills are made online and / or drafted by a person who has not even met the Testator then the Will is potentially vulnerable to being challenged and even more so if a family member or loved one has been left out of the Will.
Writing a will? Contact our Wills Solicitors in Ruislip, Middlesex
The Sethi Partnership Solicitors has a wealth of experience in providing comprehensive legal advice on Wills and Estate Planning. Whatever your circumstance, our friendly Wills and Probate solicitors can provide bespoke services to cater for your needs.
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